Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Media Needs To Confront Medicare Distortions, GOP Continues Attacks on Health Care Reform, The Republican Safety Net

Telling the WHOLE Medicare Story

From NCPSSM:  "While Presidential candidates and Washington politicians continue to claim 'we can’t afford Social Security and Medicare', few --  if any -- want to talk about what their proposals will actually mean for millions of middle-class Americans who depend on these programs.  Columbia Journalism Review’s Trudy Lieberman wrote a memo to political journalists urging them to start asking some tough questions so that voters can understand what their plans to cut benefits will actually mean for our nation."

Thanks to NCPSSM for bringing this to everyone's attention.  READ ON.

MORE:  A Medicare Memo to Campaign Reporters -- "Dear Colleagues:  I have just returned from a reporting trip to Southeast Arkansas, where the folks I visited have very little.  They certainly don’t have good health.  Some are crippled by bad knees messed up from on-their-feet jobs.  Most have diabetes.  Some have had strokes.  They are lucky, though, that they have Medicare.  Without it, they probably would have died ages ago."

"Last week, speaking to business leaders in Detroit, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney mentioned that Medicare-eligible Americans ought to wait longer for their benefits.  The media glossed over Romney’s remarks; but I kept thinking about them as I was chatting with a woman who had one leg, amputated because of complications from diabetes.  And they stayed in my mind as I talked to another woman -- a 67-year-old who had a stroke last year, and had had to quit working as a presser for a local dry cleaner ten years ago, when she was 57.  She had a seizure, and a hot press fell on her hand.  A long scar shows how her work life ended.  She qualified for a Social Security disability check --all of $795 a month that’s been her only income ever since.  How on earth could someone like her pay for medical care if she had had to wait a few more years?"

Maybe Mr. Romney could lose a $10,000 bet with all of them (he wouldn't lose much by his standards), and that would help them out a great deal.

Republicans Criticize Health Reform

From Kaiser Health News:  "Mary Agnes Carey talks with Jackie Judd about HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee.  She defended the health care law and the president's fiscal 2013 budget request.  The hearing had all the hallmarks of a partisan political event."  Transcript and audio.

I can never say enough about the good work of KHN.  Good sense, unbiased, on point.  Must listening.

GOP: Safety Net, Safety Not

"Republican presidential candidates recently have found themselves battling over who cares most for the poor.  But their demonstrations of empathy sometimes collide with their plans to cut back the programs on which many of the poor depend.  After he appeared to dismiss the very poor, Mitt Romney was forced to backpedal from his politically perilous remarks.  But he and other candidates stand by bedrock conservative principles of cutting entitlement programs and government spending."

For Your Information

"A Texas doctor was accused Tuesday in the largest Medicare fraud case in US history, with federal prosecutors charging him with scamming the government with $375 million in phony billings.  Justice Department officials announced that Dr. Jacques Roy was arrested in Texas and faces life in prison as well as fines of more than $250,000 if convicted."


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